Which Data Do I Use When My Specific Bullet Is Not Listed?

May 12, 2014

Hodgdon Powder Company provides reloading data that covers most bullets available today. However, because there are so many bullet shapes, styles, and construction configurations we cannot create data for every single one. If you cannot find your particular bullet in the reload data there is good news. We provide data in enough variations in most calibers to give you a safe alternative.

Current rifle bullets are constructed with a jacket/lead core or single material (such as all-copper). Bullets with lead cores typically display lower pressures than bullets of all copper or gilding metal structure. As such, we show data for both style bullets in a given weight, as often as possible. For example, should you have a Hornady GMX solid core hunting bullet, but our data for that weight bullet only shows a Speer lead core bullet and a Barnes all copper TSX bullet, use the data for the Barnes bullet. The GMX and TSX bullets being of similar metals and shape, can utilize the same data.

Pistol bullets create the same situation, having even more changes in shape and type. There are lead bullets, copper plated lead bullets, copper-jacketed lead core bullets, and frangible bullets. Frangible bullets are unique such that we always show separate data for them (and recommend not using any other bullet type data).

Lead bullets and copper plated lead bullets yield very similar pressure and velocity results, so when the weights are the same, the same data may be used for each. Jacketed Lead core bullets come in a variety of configurations. Jacketed Hollow points and Jacketed Flat points of the same weight use the same data. Round nosed, lead core, full metal jacketed bullets of the same weight can also use the same data.

In conclusion, bullets with similar shapes and construction materials will utilize the same data. And, above all else, work up your loads by starting with the beginning load and increase charges in small increments, at all times watching for case head pressure signs and stiff extraction.